FILE PHOTO: Apr 29, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) celebrates after scoring against the Toronto Raptors during the second half in game six of the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters
Fresh off their NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly trying to bring Paul George over from the Indiana Pacers to add firepower and defense to the Eastern Conference champs.
George, a 27-year-old four-time All-Star, is a highly sought after target in the NBA this offseason and combining him with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving could produce a viable challenger to the dominant Warriors next season.
ESPN reported Monday on a possible three-way deal that would see the Cavs send forward Kevin Love to the Denver Nuggets, the Nuggets send several young players to the Pacers, and George forming a new Big Three in Cleveland with James and Irving.
“This blockbuster trade from the Cavaliers standpoint is all determined by what the Golden State Warriors did in the NBA Finals,” ESPN pundit Chris Haynes said on Monday.
Earlier this month the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in five games to claim their second championship over Cleveland in three years.
“The roster as structured right now, (the Cavs) don’t feel like they have the talent and depth to contend with the Warriors,” he added.
The sticking point in the deal is that the Nuggets are not yet willing to part with either of their two best players – 20-year-old guard Jamal Murray and Serbian big man Nikola Jokić – but an agreement could still be reached, Haynes said.
A team that would suffer if George went to Cleveland is the Los Angeles Lakers, who were hoping to nab George to serve as a leader in their locker room, which is budding with young talent.
George, who can become a free agent after next season, had previously expressed interest in returning to LA, where he is originally from, but may not be quick to change teams again if the Cavs move takes place and proves successful.
“If the Cleveland Cavaliers win a title and dethrone the Warriors, Paul George really has to consider his initial basis of trying to get to LA,” Haynes said.
“This is going to be a nightmare for the Lakers and could change the entire look of free agency next season.”
Whether Cleveland is successful in bringing in George or not, the team will also pursue other big names around the Association this offseason including sharp-shooting forward Carmelo Anthony, who may be freed from his New York Knicks deal.
“If things work out in the Cavaliers favor, they will have the firepower necessary to feel like they can contend with the Golden State Warriors,” Haynes said. — By Rory Carroll
(Editing by Larry Fine)
James sinks buzzer-beater to lift Cavs over Timberwolves
Feb 7, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) throws a pass past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the second quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
(Reuters) – LeBron James resurrected Cleveland’s stagnant season, for one night at least, when he hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to lift the Cavaliers to a 140-138 overtime home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
After Cleveland called timeout in the backcourt with one second left, James caught a long pass near the foul line.
Under pressure from Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler, the four-times league MVP spun around and launched a fadeaway jumper from the top of the key over the top of the lunging defender.
The ball caught nothing but net, sending the crowd into delirium as the team’s recent woes were temporarily forgotten.
“Coach (Tyronn) Lue called up a great play, Jeff Green gave me a heck of a pass and I just trusted my instincts and let it go,” James said in a courtside interview.
The win helped ease the pressure on James and a team that was whipped by the lowly Orlando Magic the previous day.
“It was a great win for us. We needed this after that tough loss last night to Orlando,” James continued.
“They (Minnesota) shot 58 percent from the field and we were still able to get a win. We played Cavaliers basketball tonight and that’s all you could ask.”
The win lifted the Cavaliers to 31-22, seven games behind the East-leading Boston Celtics.
The Cavaliers have struggled this season after making the NBA finals for the past three years, beating the Golden State Warriors once and losing to the same team the other two times.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Adelaide, South Australia; Editing by John O’Brien
James takes another shot at Trump during Washington visit
Dec 17, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with forward Kevin Love (0) against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
(Reuters) – LeBron James used a visit to Washington on Sunday to express his continued displeasure at Donald Trump, without once mentioning the United States president by name.
James took the court wearing one white and one black shoe for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Washington Wizards in an NBA game in the national capital.
Both shoes had the word “EQUALITY” stitched in capital letters on the back, and they got the attention he apparently was seeking.
“Obviously, we know where we are right now and we know who’s at the helm here,” the four-times NBA most valuable player told reporters after the game, played barely a mile from the White House.
“Equality is all about understanding our rights, understanding what we stand for and how powerful we are as men, and as women, black or white or Hispanic.”
James, a frequent and outspoken critic of Trump, backed losing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
He has continued his attacks on Trump in the 13 months since the election, saying that the president does not understand that many children look to their leader for guidance and encouragement.
James spoke on Sunday after compiling his third straight triple-double — 20 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists — as the Cavaliers beat the Wizards 106-99.
“No matter your race, this is a beautiful country and we’re never going to let one person dictate how beautiful and how powerful we are,” he said.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Amlan Chakraborty
National Basketball Association roundup
Dec 4, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) drives past New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik (3) during the second quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
(The Sports Xchange) – Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry will be sidelined at least two weeks with a sprained right ankle, the team announced Tuesday.
An MRI exam performed in Charlotte, N.C., displayed no structural damage and the Warriors said Curry will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
New York Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr., the team’s second-leading scorer, will be sidelined for at least two weeks because of a “stress injury” in his lower left leg, the team announced.
A stress injury means Hardaway has either a stress reaction or a stress fracture, with the latter being more serious. Based on information received from medical experts, the New York Post reported that a stress reaction could sidelined a player for two to six weeks, while a stress fracture could keep a player out for two months.
San Antonio Spurs All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard still doesn’t know when he will make his season debut. But it could occur later this week.
The soft-spoken Leonard has missed the team’s first 24 games due to a quadriceps injury and said he is feeling good during his first interaction with reporters since Sept. 25.